Sunday, November 30, 2008

Help Me!

Those were the words uttered by the stranger whom I bumped in to tonight. Strange how one event can possibly create a chain of events, but let me start at the beginning of the story.

In recent times, the topic of money and monetary issues has been on my mind a lot. How much do I save… how much can I spend? I’ve chosen to save at the expense of many other things I could probably have been doing. So it is for this reason that I’m extremely cautious when it comes to spending, and I mean everywhere.

I can remember recently going to the supermarket and thinking ‘I could just buy some food and keep it all to myself’. I was thinking this especially since the price of goods is ever increasing and that fact that my income isn’t all that big. More so than that, it’s the fact that I now pay for all expenses except my meals, electricity, land line and Internet (the latter three which are paid by my brother). This has also made me an extremely loyal House of Fashion shopper…

It was with this mindset that I was thinking of hoarding some food for myself, until I remembered something. When I was a little kid, whenever I got food at school (which we did frequently back then) like chocolates and stuff, I would always take it back home and split it with everyone. I always did this never really caring at the small portion I ended up with. It was at this point I thought ‘Shit… what the hell happened to me?’

I’ll tell you what happened to me. After years of experience and exposure to the world, things changed. Being overly generous meant that you would soon be taken advantage of. A lesson I learned quickly and as I grew older the value of money grew ever more prominent as did my attitude toward it.

Back to that time at the Supermarket, I made a choice to buy something that was large, and relatively cheap; ergo eatable by all. I consider that the right choice. So what happened tonight? I walked to the supermarket to pay my phone bill, and on the way out (I took a different route) I was stopped by this man on the road.

He told me a tale about how he had been waiting for some guy who owed him money and some tale about a passport. In a nutshell he was stranded without a bus fair for a medium distance destination. Mind you he spoke in English. I stopped and listened to this guy and looked at him. There was nothing shady about him, he seemed genuine. But then again sometimes real people appear shady because they are not used to asking.

This guy’s talk was good and if he was a conman his angle was excellent. He constantly said ‘If I am disturbing you, its ok’ in a kind of dismissive manner. Good move on his part if he was a conman. Now stopped and engaged by this man, I was wondering what to do, so I asked him how much he needed. ‘Go on… ask me for 500 bucks so that I can tell you go F yourself’. What did he ask for? Rs.32 plus an extra 6 to get to Town Hall to get the actual bus that he needed. I pondered this for a moment with the obvious question ‘Is this guy a conman?’ After some time I decided… ‘screw it, its such a small amount, though if he’s a conman he probably collects small amounts to add to big amounts.’

Still I opened my wallet and looked for change. I only had a 50 note and there was no way in hell I was going to give this guy extra. So I told him I had no change. He too pondered this for a second before suggesting that I could get the cash changed at a nearby store; there were plenty. More hesitation on my part. Again he says “If I am disturbing you…” I think some more and say ‘Fine… let’s go”.

The first shop refuses to change the money, all the while I’m looking at the store keepers faces to get some hint that this is somebody that they recognize. No sign. I report to the guy in a ‘oh well’ manner that they won’t change it. He suggests the adjacent shop and so I go there. The same story and again I look at the store keepers faces, but still no sign.

“Oh this is not my lucky day’ the guy says, while I’ve got an ‘oh well… that’s that; at least I tried right buddy?’ attitude. Then there’s more silence. He says ‘Please sir, if you can try one more store, otherwise its ok.’ I agree and we cross the street to go the last place. They change the money and I give him 30, followed by the last remaining 2 later. I did not give him the supposed 6 to go to Town Hall; he says it’s ok, that he can walk.

He shakes my hand and gives a very firm handshake – a purported sign of trustworthiness, but what does it matter if he’s a conman; he can easily generate that impression. I remain unconvinced. Then he left heading towards Town Hall on foot, I watched as he disappeared in to the distance. ‘Go on… hide somewhere, do something that tells me you’re nothing but a fraud!’ Nothing. He keeps on walking until I can’t see him in the dark. I stand there thinking ‘should I follow? Is he for real?’

In the end I realized that the incident was over and I went on my business. I walked onward to my original destination thinking all the while about what had happened. I pondered the man’s manner, I couldn’t sense any kind of fraud on him. Not like the incident that happened recently where someone asked me to buy something for them and that they would pay me back later. When I met this person they gave the absolutely classic I don’t have enough money for [insert here + show nearly empty wallet], can I pay you later?

This kind of thing is nothing new to me. Another person I knew who wanted to go for a drink and invoking the classic and normally agreed split the bill, except of course this person had a significantly larger part of the bill. I don’t say anything to these things, but I observe them. It’s very telling of a person in my opinion.

This I tie in to Horton’s last post, which I completely agree with. Everything we do is a choice, and my choice is that just because other people do things to me, doesn’t mean I do the same thing back. I hate vicious cycles and always want to break them. Furthermore the reason I gave the money to the man on the road as I mulled it over, was not because of some fear of a deity, or hell, or to feel good about myself. I gave it because I felt that I couldn’t take the chance that this was actually someone who was actually genuine, and that I would leave them stranded. Two hours later, I’m feeling strongly that the man was a conman (but I can’t say for certain). But what’s worse? Getting ripped by a professional or someone you know?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Handling the Temptation

Temptation is a very common emotion that all people big, small, male, female, saint, sinner go through. The very sound of the word brings a sense of intense desire. If simply defined, temptation is the feeling of a non-reasonable desire or craving to do something.

This desire may be for both good and bad but it is always close to being impossible to control. We may be tempted to serve that extra helping of pudding, to smoke a cigar just to test it, to cheat an exam with the sole reason of innocent helplessness, to dance in the middle of the mall, to kiss the sexy girl at office out of plain curiosity when you’re not with your lady, etc, etc. Temptations are everywhere but not all of them are good or ethical.

In this post I will only be commenting on the temptation to cheat a lover (at any level), for this appeared to be the talk of the week among my peeps.

The temptation to be with someone other than your lover (this phrase sounds a bit better than going into details such as kissing or making love to) may have knocked on some of our doors. It may be due to the most uncalled for reasons- the “other” being a better match, the “lover” not being who he/she appeared to be initially, the “situation” being pro-temptation, it just being a harmless one night stand, a “slight crush” which you wanted to investigate, etc. I can list down a lot more yet there’s just one simple fact about this natural human weakness and that is there is no such thing as “not having a choice”. The old phrase “I had no choice” is plainly not an innocent excuse because Temptation (which ever one) always comes hand in hand with Choice. All of us make a choice when we decide to fall into or out of temptation.

It’s true that we’re all human and are full of mortal weaknesses and all that “learning from mistakes” talk, but if there’s something common to all of us, it’s freewill and the ability to think. This fact makes the “no choice” phrase highly unacceptable.

So the next time you decide to try out that tempting cigar or chocolate mousse or French kiss, just pause to choose!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Nightwatchman is Back!!!

Well..Im still downloading the album, "Fabled City"...but the excitement has overwhelmed my desire to write a proper post. Tom Morello a.k.a The Nightwatchman, former Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist; quite famous for his amazing guitar fx has put out his second solo album.

Before i depart, just want to say a few things about this guy. A Harvard graduate, a political activist and an amazing musician..Tom Morello, regardless of his political ideology has truly been and will continue to be an inspiration to millions of people...

I leave you with one of his most amazing tracks called "Until the End" from his debut solo album(One Man Revolution) and if you have time check out his website, you can listen to some of the tracks from his new album... (

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pain, Pain... It's the name of the game.

We all feel it, in so many ways, at different times and with different intensities. Both physical and emotional in nature, it can mean so different things to different people. Most of the pain that graces the blogosphere is typically about the emotional pain, but this post is about the physical.

When it comes to physical pain I’d say I’ve endured my fair share. Everyone goes through the usual stuff when they're kids consisting of cuts and bruises with the occasionally more serious injury. I can remember kissing asphalt with my joints on more than one occasion and looking back at a thick oozing mess where my body touched the ground.

One injury ripped out all the nerves on my knee causing me to lose surface feeling there. In fact when I touch that area I get the unusual feeling of touching a stuffed animal. The reason… I only get the sensation from my finger. That was a pretty painful injury. I can remember putting on trousers was something I used to do with great trepidation at the time because slight contact with my then swollen knee hurt like a bitch and would result in me cursing at the top of my lungs. For a long time I couldn’t kneel down on that knee because it hurt too much (that was my test for seeing how it was doing). 7 years later my knee sometimes still bugs me, but it’s not a major issue anymore.

So what is the point of all the above? Its just the prelude to the real story; the most painful physical experience I’ve ever had. It’s at this point that I’m going to be a little vague, but suffice to say I had to undergo a small surgery. It wasn’t life threatening and only required local anesthetic which I’m not entirely convinced of its effectiveness.

After receiving the shot, the cutting began. I can tell you that despite the anesthetic I could pretty much feel everything. A strange burning sensation akin to having a zipper being pulled over your skin, only much more intense and without cessation. That went on for what I know felt much longer than it actually did. It was pretty painful and was a sensation I had never felt before, but... was bearable.

The End? Sadly not. The worse was yet to come. The second part of this operation I can safely say hurt like a mother. This part definitely went on for a while and so felt like an eternity. Pain, pain pain, burning intense pain, sharp, stinging and burning intensely; that’s what it consisted of.

I can tell you that I’m not really much of a screamer, a curser yes, but not a screamer. But this was seriously pushing the limit, going somewhere I had never been before when it came to pain. Let’s just say I was extremely agitated and squirming despite insistence that I shouldn’t. This unbelievable pain just kept getting bigger and bigger, and went on and on until eventually I reached a completely new place. I had been crying out in the end; it seemed to go on forever. But what happened next really surprised me.

Where do you go once the pain never ends and gets worse and worse? Well quite frankly it blew my mind. I can remember thinking ‘how can it be this painful? This is ridiculous!!! Absurd!!’ It was at this point I did what I never expected would happen. I began to laugh. Slowly at first and then more and more until it was pretty hysterical. Crazy? I think not. The concept of pain at that point of time to me had become completely ludicrous; it was just so much that it seemed outrageous and unreal. How could anything hurt so much? The entire situation seemed such a farce.

The strange laughter carried on till the end of this operation. To say I was relieved when it was over would be an understatement. As I tiredly hobbled away from this experience I was presented with one last gift. My eyesight went all pixilated like some bad 80’s videogame with everything looking like MS Paint on 200% zoom. Shortly afterward I fell over backwards but was fortunately caught by my brother.

Much like with the experience with my knee, even for weeks afterward I would remember the pain and cover away in fear of the remembrance. Fortunately I no longer remember that feeling anymore, just what I was thinking at the time.

I know I know, there are probably or most definitely much worse physical pain experiences out there I’m sure, but for me this was the most painful of them all.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Getaway

"Damn... they are following us." Shit! Yes they were following us.. one look in the rear view mirror confirmed this. Picture this two old and very pissed off dudes following a little silver Starlet in the middle of rush hour in Colombo.

Don't ask me about the circumstances or who the other person in the car was... i would have revealed that, but since this is not a private blog i'd rather keep that information confidential.

Ok, so here is the story: I turn my car onto what I thought was a secluded lane off Kirula Road. It seemed to be, hardly anyone around, a bunch of tall leafy trees, a couple of dodgy looking canines and desolate houses.

Couple of minutes later, I have these weirdo old dudes who just got off a motorbike tapping on my window... "Get out of the car...or else"

What do I do? I felt the adrenaline hitting my bloodstream and in what must have saved thousands of our ancestors went in to the flight or fight mode. Glanced at my side mirror.. damn its gonna be tough to back outta here without hitting the bike. (I didn't want to scratch the car.. my mum would have gone ballistic!)

Put the gear in reverse, gunned the engine and backed out into the road without a second thought about the oncoming traffic.... I narrowly escaped hitting a green three wheeler with a foreign guy in it... at least he'll have an interesting anecdote about Sri Lankan driving to tell his friends.

The weirdo-old dudes jumped onto the bike and gunned the engine.. put the car into first gear and sped away before they could turn on to the main road...

Fuck! Colombo and its traffic... I am not gonna get anywhere in this shit! The lane demarcated for the cars going the other way seemed more or less empty... Swerved onto that lane, hit the accelerator..told my friend to hold on for dear life....

Passed a very surprised looking security checkpoint.. I still wonder why they didn't stop me.. maybe they were way too surprised and caught off guard! I mean u don't get a car doing 60 kmph on the opposite side of the road at 2 pm in Colombo.

But those idiots were still following us... I was on park road by this time, once again on the wrong side of the road... The red lights were gleaming up ahead and I was about 200 meters away from them, do i make a break for it and risk getting hit by the oncoming traffic?

Hell yeah.... swerving left and right managed avoid the vehicles.. took the turn and whoa I was on the baseline.... no worries anymore! I was in my element here... gunned the engine some more hit and 90.. took a u turn where i wasn't supposed to and turned towards Siebel Avenue... phew we lost them!!

Finally some respite... gave it 10 minutes before I ventured out and as cool as ice put the car back on Baaseline and with the innocence of a driver never breaking the highway code, stopped at the colour lights and waited for them to turn green.

THose guys must have given up by now... hopefully. The lights turned green made a left turn on to Thalakotuwa Lane and I knew I was home and dry...

They don't call me Cools McSlick for nothing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Have I Ever?

Thanx whackster for the tag. Well its the third time we are being tagged but i guess this time the whole Kottu seems to be in a "Have I Ever" frenzy! So I might as well join in..:D But before I start I have to tell you I suck at these tagged posts…

So here goes nothing..

Have I…
  • Spent my entire savings from my salary to go for a gig in India (and being utterly broke in the next few months)..
  • Been sober for one week..
  • Gone clubbing, come home at 3.00am before sitting for an important exam at 8.00am in the morning..
  • Been surrounded by more than five bouncers after my friend tried to sneak out without paying the bill...
  • Demanded and taken money from a trishaw driver to hire another trishaw after he said he was out of fuel and couldn’t take us to our destination
  • Punched out some Indians.. lol
  • Finished a Rockland White rum within 30 mins with two friends
  • Torn off a friend’s t-shirt, while getting jabbed in nose at a mosh pit
  • Spent 4 days at home with dengue thinking that it was only just a regular fever...
  • Refused to visit the doctor for the last 2 and half years even though I’m shivering with flu right now…
  • Drowned…Only to be saved by my cousin at the last moment
  • Spray painted public places and certain college walls with the trademark name and logo ;)…...( and got it on camera)
  • Tried to rundown a bunch of children carrying fireworks at a Katina Perahara thinking they were a mob coming to torch me and the car…
  • Gotten high, driven back home and woken up in the morning thinking how the hell I got here?
  • Driven to Hikka in the middle of the night with bunch of friends after dancing around a late night fire for no particular reason…
  • Choked my brother while he was punching me in the face…
  • Spent my entire pocket money to buy nothing but audio cds from ProMedia during my school days
  • Been embarrassed infront of opposite sex in worst ways possible
  • Fallen in love with a psycho chick…
  • Kept away from putting certain ideas into posts in fear certain people might read them
  • Stopped others from doing a tagged post when they were tagged..bwahaha..
  • Told you that I suck at these tagged posts..
Hmm guess better stop now.… For all the above the answer is Yes I have. Well any one reading this are welcomed to do their own post…would really love to see what you gotta say..

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Could Happen to You!

Ever had one of those strange coincidences that seemed really strange? Well something recently happened to me which seemed to fit the bill.

It was just an ordinary day, and I had just finished watching the supposed comedy "The Promotion". The movie takes places in a supermarket and is about two employees competing for a promotion. During the movie we see several scenes where a 'chunky' employee continuously helps himself to various products off the shelves.

One example of this involves him using a roll on deodorant before calmly replacing the cap and putting it back on the shelf. Now I was thinking that this could happen in real life too... and we would never know. How sick could that be? But 'nah'... that's just one of those things you think is happening but never really does.

Now I really needed to buy a bottle of gel, and so on that very same day I managed to go to Cargills to go get one. Popped in, plunked the gel on the checkout counter, paid the bill and then went off home. After that I didn't give the gel bottle another moments thought since I don't use it except on working days normally.

Still on the same day I just looked over the bottle sometime later, reading the label as it was a new type that I hadn't tried before. It was during this operation that my eye caught something. 'Hey... wait a minute. Is it just me or is the lid not on properly?' Upon closer inspection I discovered that I was correct, the lid was not on straight, and was actually slightly opened.

So doing the next sensible thing, I opened the bottle up to find that the internal polythene/foam/substance peel off had actually been opened. Clearly this wasn't a case of the bottle fallen to the ground...

After being a little grossed out and considering whether I could actually keep this bottle and use it, I came to a decision.

Shortly afterward I marched right back in there and explained the situation to the dudes and dudettes at Cargills. They were quite happy to change my reconditioned gel bottle.

If that isn't a weird coincidence, I don't know what is. Just remember, the next time you pick up a roll on deodorant, someone else might have used it already!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Using Your Diary to Feed Off Depression….

I love it, or rather I used to. But now I have intentionally kept away from it. Its time consuming, depressive and hurl you into a downward spiral of emotional anarchy. Well cant help it but i am quite an emotional person, most people can read it off me, but what the hell...

Yeah I know it’s creepy but dwelling on emotions and getting a ridiculous sense of self-satisfaction is something I used to do quite often in the past. It helped me in dire situations, gave me a sense of belonging when everything seemed to have left me and kept me alone.

I know quite a few people who have their own personal diaries, poetry books and all sorts of material to deal with personal emations. Poetry did help but its not quite as effective as directly talking off an issue. My diary is like my own life mirror made of ink and paper. It reflects series of days in mylife which I had time to note down. Though it started off as a well documented journal which kept track of what I did through those days,(as i tend to have a short memory) but it later became my own personal refuge.

I would down pour my thoughts ideas and intentions, debate with myself and create another aspect of myself which most of my friends did not even know. These out poured thoughts resembled failures, secrets and utterfoolsih ideas and even political and social issues that roamed my mind.

The tremendous amount of work, time spent on studies and tight schedules have distanced me from what I used to be. These days I don’t think that much compared to past where I used to get lost in my own imagination exploring vivid dreams, personalities and come out with all kinds of judgments. Well yeah I know it’s just the thinking process any human has, but as some of my friends know, I some times spend too much time over things which anyone else would make up their mind easily. Any way these observations helped me to deal with people, to make wrong choices and sometimes to make my life more miserable than before…

But I still maintain my diary, though not as frequent as during those days. In fact I have put down only a few notes for the whole year, compared to past where I used to have long dragging pages dedicated even for few days. Even this post that i am writing now would have ended up in my diary if it weren't for the

Well… as I have seen, the bloggersphere has also become some kind of a personal refuge for many people. It has become a place where they would come out of their shells, share their thoughts and personal sentiments with likeminded individuals(or not!). Pass out subliminal messages, talk off politics and hit out senselessly which they might not be able to do physically in the real world. I have seen this in form of various types of creative writting, poetry and vivid images. if you think about it,one can term the whole bloggerspher or rather Kottu as a huge mashed up diary....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Heart Vs Mind

People can be categorized into two; those of us dominated by our hearts and those of us whose minds are more dominating. These two types can again be named as “emotional” people and “rational” people.

In history we find successful lives of both these kinds of people in various fields. Yet the debate arises as to which kind of us is more effective in decision making and successfulness in life.

A person’s whose mind is the most dominating will be more rational thinking, evaluating all decisions in a logical and realistic manner, weighing pros and cons, inputs and outputs and more or less having a plan A and B for most of life’s actions-he will be someone who will try to get either more than he gives or an exact equal output.

A person dominated by the heart is in most cases someone who sees the good in everything-sometimes even when it’s not there, who is willing to make huge sacrifices to achieve something relatively small in worldly value, who will deny all logical reasoning and undergo much difficulty to enjoy a simple happiness, who is ready to face losses in order to make another gain profits.

So who is more successful in life?

A “mind” person may appear to be more selfish and output driven, which will win him good results and attainments but perhaps very few people, that too not out of love or devotion but out of power and force. A “heart” person may seem to be selfless and process-driven, reaping fewer results but many a good heart, and may be some instances of “being taken for granted”.

Which will be more valuable and consistent? Achievements (monetary and the like) or good people (to stand by you)? It is almost impossible to find a 50-50 heart-mind person, thus which is the best combo, more heart and less mind or vice versa?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Love is a Lie

Love is supposed to be pure , the strongest of strongest bonds. Some kind of unbreakable union of two people, and one of the most positive and beautiful concepts that we have. But it's a lie.

Why do I say this? Well for starters I've been alive for around 20 years and I'm pretty sure I've never ever felt this emotion. I'm beginning to doubt anyone else has either. There are lots of people out there who say "I Love Her" or "I Love Him" shortly after meeting, or if they never ever even get to know the person. It's all exciting and fun dreaming about what you will never have, I know because I'm guilty as charged. Whoa... that PERFECT girl, but watch out, better keep my distance, because Lord if I actually see her for real, she'll never measure up to those ideals in my head.

What I am sure exists is lust. That I feel everyday, and it brings about strange and confusing feelings of something that mimics the concept of love. But I know from experience that its short lived, a temporary madness. Now maybe you're saying this guy is completely heartless (Thank You!), but hold your horses!

Once I met this girl, and we hit it off so well. It was like magic, I felt like this was the shit, I would do anything for her, blady blady blah. But due to circumstances we were separated. So a year later I was really excited to meet her, but when I saw her again it had all fizzled out and I was thinking 'Oh my God... what the hell was I thinking?' I can assure you that if I had stuck with this girl the previous time, silly little thoughts of "Marriage" would no doubt have entered my mind. But I wonder if I had somehow gotten married... where the hell would I be now? In hell probably after everything fizzled out.

A friend of mine met this Girl some time back, and he was like madly in 'Love', everything is 'perfect' he told me. 'We're planning on getting married!' I was like "What? How long have you been dating her?' The shocking answer? 3 Weeks! Naturally I warned him of madness. I don't think he took heed.

I wonder just how many people end up getting married after enjoying the exciting start... don't they know the expression 'the honeymoon's over?' But I think divorce rates are on the rise... too bad it's not what's sold in the media.

A teacher of mine once attacked the institution of marriage, but me being a robot drone at the time, I wouldn't even consider the possibility. The argument was that long ago people got married at 16. The guy would enjoy that 'HAPPY TIME :)' shortly before going off to war where he would soon die. And I'm talking medieval times as well as ancient civilizations and further back in to the past, going back to marriage's extremely ancient origins. Is it still relevant today?

I also heard a statement a few years ago that astounded me. Brainwashed by all the popular lovey dovey media like so many people, it always seemed so cool to have that relationship that would have to endure all kinds of hardships. You know like that everyone is against it thing including the government and the World! How exciting.... Woooh! Just like da Movies!

But then this person says something that gobsmacks me. The statement went something like this "Most people believe that its hardest to have a relationship during the hard times, when so many things are against it. The truth is the hardest time in a relationship is when everything is going fine... just plain ordinary fine, no excitement." That's very true, it's all easy to feel excited and all if you're fighting the EVIL EMPIRE to save your girls life, but if its just doing the groceries or something... hmmm... not cool! Dealing with the mundane, pretty much what everyone experiences everyday is way harder than dealing with insurmountable odds when it comes to love!

I ask you this... if Love is some unbreakable bond as advertised, how can we ever hear the line "I don't love you anymore?"

Love is a beautiful concept... but is it real? I leave with the latest piece of media that has come my way depicting this beautiful and ideal love. It's a nice fantasy... but just a fantasy nonetheless.